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From the Pews in the Back: Young Women and Catholicism 1st Edition

3.3 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0814632581
ISBN-10: 0814632580
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Editorial Reviews

Review

"More testimony and crie de coeur than complaint, Kate Dugan's and Jen Owens's eloquent, often poetic collection of memoirs from young Catholic women is deeply rooted in their Catholic identity. These young women are willing to raise difficult questions, but always with an appreciation of a church that for all its failings has nourished their faith and remains for them a home. They represent a significant part of the Catholic community; their story deserves a hearing." --Thomas P. Rausch, SJ, T. Marie Chilton Professor of Catholic Theology, Loyola Marymount University, Author of Being Catholic in a Culture of Choice (Liturgical Press)

"In a church that does not always listen to the voices of women, it is critical that we have pages in which to share our stories and gain strength from one another s journeys. It is in the sharing of stories that hearts are changed and transformation begins. Read these stories, be inspired to share your story and, together, we ll move the church one step closer to justice!" --Nicole Sotelo, Author of Women Healing from Abuse: Meditations for Finding Peace (Paulist Press)

About the Author

Kate Dugan was baptized, made First Reconciliation, received First Communion, was confirmed, and married in Immaculate Conception Parish in Watertown, South Dakota. She graduated from the College of St. Benedict and received her Master of Theological Studies from Harvard Divinity School. This fall, she will begin a PhD program in religion at Northwestern University.


Jennifer Owens has spent most of her academic life and all of her teaching career in Catholic schools in Southern California. She earned her bachelor's degree in sociology and a master's degree in teaching from Loyola Marymount University. Jennifer recently completed her Master of Divinity at Harvard Divinity School and will begin doctoral studies in systematic and philosophical theology at the Graduate Theological Union this fall.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Liturgical Press; 1st edition (July 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0814632580
  • ISBN-13: 978-0814632581
  • Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 0.6 x 8.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,595,161 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By JEFFREY MCGRAW on October 7, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
In the interest of full disclosure, I am friends with one of the contributors. Other things that bind me to this work are the facts that I am a Catholic since birth, not being given a choice at the time, and haven't bothered to change it since. But this isn't about me, it is about the brave women who took their faith seiously enough to expose their concerns, fears and yes, non-Catholic America, their hopes. While it is not mainstream and certainly even among Catholics might be on the outer edge does not diminish it's value. We are a nation of opinions, even those from arrogant talk show hosts or people on either side of the political spectrum, even Red Sox fans. Yet what makes this collection of essays so valuable to those of any faith is that these women were secure enough in their faith, however they define it, to put pen to paper, finger to keyboard or quill to papyrus.

I recommend this cornucopia of ideas to all those, again of any faith, to read, digest and apply to their own religious beliefs. This is a book that will provoke discussion, a frank exchange of ideas in a non-confrontational way which is what my Catholic Jesus would have wanted in my humble opinion. No opinion is wrong in this world. It is valued for it is a reasoned piece of one's soul bravely shared with the world which, in the last analysis enrichs us all.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I stumbled upon this book fairly randomly and I am so glad I did- I've now read it three times.

This book is a big hug for any woman whose conscience was shaped by the Catholic Church only to grow up and find that this strong sense of justice and love made sitting in mass and identifying with the Catholic hierarchy too often uncomfortable and even sometimes painful. In the face of this struggle, many of these women remember happy family memories and stories about the wonderful formative years in the Church that I believe most women raised Catholic post-Vatican II will relate to with a smile. These women take their faith seriously, and their little rebellions, their small demands for recognition, their refusal to let others define them out of Catholicism (nor the Catholicism out of them) is amazing.

The format of the book is a compilation of short contributions from a variety of women born in the 1970s and 1980s (I, born in the 90s, will attest to the continued relevance). I found the stories compelling, clear, beautiful, and well-written. The authors did a good job of finding women representing a variety of backgrounds (the only critique I can make was pointed out by a friend who read this: bisexual women are erased both by the lack of bisexual women and the continued reference to "gays and lesbians." But the good intentions are there.). Certainly, their views tend to be more liberal, but the point of this book is largely to write progressive young women back into a picture of American Catholicism.

If you know or are a young, disillusioned but thoughtful Catholic, I highly recommend this book.
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This was a selection by my book club and I got so angry reading it that I had to keep putting it down. It is written by liberal feminist who express their experiences that are direct opposite from my own and those of many other faithful Catholic women.
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